How to Make Oatmeal from Scratch

You can make oatmeal from scratch, meaning you can make it from that mysterious paper canister of oatmeal you see on the bottom shelf of the cereal aisle at the grocery store.

a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar

This is the first of my cooking for beginners series I will be sharing with you. I will show you how to make oatmeal from scratch on the stove.

This recipe is part of my learn how to cook for beginners series, where I am cooking every recipe out of my old home economics cookbook.

Why am I doing this? I recently unearthed my home economics cookbook from junior high school. Now I took this class more years ago than I care to admit, but this was one of the ways I learned how to cook.

When I was in junior high, while you weren’t mandated to take home economics, you could choose to take it, so I did. For years I have wanted to cook my way through this recipe book, and that’s what I am going to do. I thought I would take you along with me on this journey.

I will start with this How to Make Oatmeal from Scratch guide.

Did you know there was a time when you couldn’t prepare oatmeal in a microwave? Granted, we’ve all benefited from tucking a few packages of oatmeal away in our desks while at work, and keeping a few around the house for when we just don’t have time to cook.

However, you can make oatmeal more inexpensively from scratch and it tastes, yes, you guessed it, better when you make it fresh!

a bowl of rolled oats

This recipe uses rolled oats – the ones you typically find in those large cardboard cylinders at the grocery store. Rolled oats come in three kinds – old-fashioned oatmeal, quick oatmeal, and instant oatmeal.

Companies steam oats and then roll them into flakes. Quick and instant oatmeal is made by the oats being steamed and rolled out longer and this makes them cook faster.

There is also another kind of oats that are steel-cut instead of rolled. Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook.

Read my comprehensive tutorial on types of oatmeal to find out how to cook any type of oatmeal!

Personalize your Oatmeal from Scratch!

You can personalize your oatmeal with your favorite toppings – maple syrup, butter, a little bit of milk, or various types of fruit and nuts. I have a co-worker who swears by a little curry powder. Whatever you do, you can make it your own.

One of the benefits of cooking food yourself is you get to customize everything, the flavors, the salt, and the sugar. So armed with a bit of knowledge, it’s time to get creative and make your favorite flavor of oatmeal today!

a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar

Looking for great oatmeal recipes? Try these!

Favorite Breakfast Recipes

Check out more of my easy breakfast recipes and the best recipes for beginners here on CopyKat!

a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar

Make Oatmeal from Scratch

Learn how to cook a hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Make Oatmeal from Scratch, Oatmeal Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 91kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup oatmeal quick or old fashioned


  • Bring the water, salt, and spices to a boil in a saucepan. Stir oatmeal and raisins into briskly boiling water. Cook 1 minute for quick or instant, or 5 minutes for old-fashioned. Stir occasionally. Cover the pan, remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with brown sugar and milk if desired.



Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 402mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. John Martin

    I almost always eat old fashioned rolled oats raw just as any cold cereal. Been doing it since I was a kid. I’m 77 now.

  2. Joyce Compton

    5 stars
    I like rolled oats much better that instant. I want to go back further than Jr. high to my great great grandmothers day and make rolled oats from whole grains from the field. Does anyone have a clue?

  3. Sonshine

    Actually, you don’t have to put milk in it to make it creamy. Just take the old fashioned oats (I like the extra thick variety) and start it in cold water. As the mixture heats up to boiling, the resulting oatmeal is very creamy. The thinner the oat flake, the creamier the oatmeal.

    • stephaniemanley

      I have to say some of the food had been surprisingly good. Most of these recipes I haven’t cooked ever.

5 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.